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Los Angeles is a city known for its musical potpourris. There are over a hundred ethnicities represented in the city, so it makes sense that Ozomatli's latest effort, Don't Mess With the Dragon, is a fusion of Spanish rock, hip-hop, reggaetón, reggae, and funk, the perfect crossover release from the City of Angels. The band has been making music like this for 12 years now and is famous for its ability to conjure up the perfect world beat sound. Their latest full-length album is packed with happy dance tracks. The opening song, "Can't Stop," is polished and infectious. If you think you hear echoes of Ricky Martin's "Maria" or "Shake Your Bon-Bon," you're right. Martin's producer, K.C. Porter, had a hand in Dragon. The ballad "Violeta," with its rough rap chorus, is especially nice. "Creo," a bilingual hip-hop/reggaeton creation, and "After Party" both demand dancing. Ever since Jurassic 5's Chali 2na and Cut Chemist were in the band (although they've both moved on now), Ozomatli has had an uncanny ability to attract crowds with a love for world music. And if you consider yourself a lover of the pachanga, then watching Ozomatli live should be high on your priority list this weekend.


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